How to Mix Metal Finishes for Modern Kitchen Aesthetics


Mixing metal finishes in the kitchen requires a balance between harmony and contrast. There are practical tips for achieving a cohesive look in a kitchen design. Mixing various metal finishes defines your style.

How to Mix Metal Finishes for Modern Kitchen Aesthetics

Homeowners blend different metal finishes using lighting fixtures, appliances, faucets, cabinet hardware, and more.

The Perks of Mixing Metals in Kitchen Decor

Mixing different metal finishes has more perks than sticking to a single type of metal.

Adds Visual Interest and Depth

Mixing metal finishes in kitchen decor adds visual interest and depth. Introducing a variety of finishes breaks up the monotony and creates a more dynamic space. The contrast between different metals makes your kitchen feel more inviting.

It complements your kitchen’s color scheme while creating distinct focal points. For instance, pairing a copper range hood with stainless steel appliances creates an attractive centerpiece. Combining warm-toned metals like brass with cool-toned metals like chrome also achieves an appealing design.

Showcasing Personal Style and Creativity

Customizing your kitchen allows you to showcase your style and creativity. You can experiment with different metal textures and combinations to create a unique aesthetic. You could blend brass hardware on your cabinets with stainless steel appliances for an eclectic look.

Common Kitchen Metal Finishes

Common Kitchen Metal Finishes

Standard metal finishes for modern kitchen aesthetics include stainless steel, copper, polished brass, brushed nickel, and more.

Stainless Steel

Stainless steel is durable, corrosion-resistant, and easy to clean. It’s often used for appliances, sinks, and countertops. Stainless steel’s sleek, modern appearance complements various kitchen styles.

Contemporary kitchen designs feature stainless steel appliances, fixtures, and matte black cabinet hardware and faucets. Stainless steel is also a primary metal for industrial kitchens due to its durability and ease of maintenance.

Brushed Nickel

Brushed nickel has a matte finish, which hides fingerprints and smudges. Its subdued shine works well with stainless steel appliances, making it popular in modern kitchens.

Brushed nickel complements warm color schemes like red, yellow, or orange. The major downside to this finish is that it’s difficult to clean. Its textured surface makes it challenging to get the dirt off.

Polished Brass

Polished brass adds a touch of warmth and elegance to a modern kitchen. It’s ideal for homeowners who want a gold finish without overpowering other metals in the kitchen. Brass complements natural, earthy tones.

You can also balance the warmth of polished brass kitchen hardware with stainless steel appliances. Most modern homes feature a white kitchen with brass hardware.

Oil-Rubbed Bronze

Oil-rubbed bronze fixtures fit traditional and contemporary kitchen designs. The metal’s rich color contrasts white backgrounds and hides smudges and fingerprints.

Oil-rubbed faucets and light fixtures pair well with stainless steel hardware. Mix matte black and oil-rubbed bronze cabinet pulls and pot fillers.

Matte Black

Create a bold contrast by mixing stainless steel with matte black metal. Combine with a matte black faucet and gold hardware. Matte black and gold are contrasting accents to the primary metal, stainless steel.

Matte black is a popular finish for cabinet pulls on white or gray cabinets. Matte black adds modernity to the design, exuding elegance and refinement in the kitchen.


Copper is a reddish metal. It works for most designs, including industrial and farmhouse kitchens. Over time, copper develops a natural patina. It adds a unique, aged appearance, enhancing the charm of rustic or farmhouse kitchens.

Polished copper finishes look stunning in a sleek and minimalist contemporary kitchen. For instance, you can add a polished copper faucet and pendant lights to warm an all-white space.

Key Tips for Mixing Metal Finishes in the Kitchen

It’s crucial to understand the basics of mixing metals in the kitchen. It ensures a cohesive and unique aesthetic.

Establish a Dominant Metal and Secondary Accents

Select a primary metal for fixtures and appliances. Add a secondary metal for contrast and visual appeal. The secondary metal is ideal for smaller accents like cabinet hardware, light fixtures, or faucets.

Pair Warm and Cool Tones for Balance

Pairing warm and cool metals creates visual balance. Warm metals include copper, gold, oil-rubbed bronze, and brass. Nickel, stainless steel, iron, and chrome are cool metals. For instance, mixing brass and nickel finishes create an appealing contrast, which results in a harmonious look.

Create a Visual Hierarchy With Metal Finishes

Mixing metal finishes in the kitchen highlights specific elements and creates a focal point. Use statement pieces, such as a chandelier, a faucet, or eye-catching cabinet handles.

For instance, mixing gold hardware with stainless steel appliances creates a striking contrast that draws attention to the space.

Limit the Number of Different Metals for a Cohesive Look

Mix two or three metal finishes for a cohesive look in your kitchen. Consider other materials and colors in your kitchen design when choosing metal finishes. Warm-toned metals like copper, brass, and gold pair well in black kitchens. Cool metals like chrome and stainless steel complement bright kitchen interiors.

Mixing Metals in Various Kitchen Elements

Mixing Metals in Various Kitchen Elements

Kitchen elements with metal finishes include kitchen appliances, hardware, kitchenware, and decor.

  • Faucets and Sink Fixtures: Mixing metal faucets and sink fixtures allows you to add personality to your kitchen. Mix brass or gold faucets with stainless steel or matte black sinks for a bold contrast.

You could also mix complementary metals, such as brushed nickel faucets, with a chrome sink. Blending a copper faucet with an oil-rubbed bronze sink also adds visual interest to your kitchen.

  • Cabinet Hardware and Pulls: Similar metal finishes in upper and lower cabinet hardware create a cohesive look. Alternating between the two also adds a sense of balance.

For example, match brass pulls on the top cabinets with matte black handles on the lower cabinets. Consider using one metal for knobs and another for pulls to enhance the visual texture.

  • Lighting Fixtures and Pendant Lights: Lighting fixtures and pendant lights create a focal point to a kitchen’s design. Consider mixing two or more metals within the same accessory.

For instance, you could install a brass and black pendant light. For a harmonious blend, use several lighting fixtures with different metals.

  • Appliances and Range Hoods: Most kitchen appliances are available in standard finishes like stainless steel. You could add a range hood with a contrasting metal finish, such as copper or brass. To avoid overwhelming the space, choose a limited palette of metals.
  • Kitchen Furniture and Seating: Metal-framed bar stools or chairs complement the kitchen design. You could also opt for a dining table with metallic accents like copper or brass legs.
  • Decorative Accents and Backsplashes: Use a metallic backsplash tile that blends two or more metals. Stainless steel lintels, brass, or a mosaic of copper create a notable visual impact.

You could also use a single-metal backsplash to contrast with other kitchen design elements. Another option is incorporating mixed metals using wall art, utensil holders, or decorative bowls.

Mixing Metals in Different Kitchen Design Styles

Mixing Metals in Different Kitchen Design Styles

When choosing metal finishes, consider your kitchen’s style and color palette to ensure they complement each other.

Modern and Minimalist

Modern and minimalist kitchens feature a cohesive layout and shiny, dramatic elements. Stainless steel is popular as the primary metal, with brass or matte black as the accent metal. Distributing metals throughout the space creates a cohesive look. Avoid concentrating one metal in a single area, creating visual imbalance.

For instance, you could use stainless steel for the sink, faucet, and large appliances. Add brass or gold drawer pulls, cabinet handles, and light fixtures.

Rustic and Farmhouse

Copper’s warm, rich tones suit rustic and farmhouse kitchens. Use copper in light fixtures, range hoods, sinks, or kitchenware. You can also accessorize using items made from wrought iron for a vintage touch.

Traditional and Classic

Brass, bronze, and brushed nickel are standard in traditional kitchen designs. Pairing warm-toned brass with cool-toned nickel creates an appealing contrast. Chrome fixtures are also popular for classic kitchens. Chrome is an alternative for homeowners who prefer a shiny finish to the matte appearance of nickel.

Mix the deep, rich tones of bronze with the shiny, reflective surface of chrome for a balanced design. Incorporate bronze in light fixtures, cabinet handles, and chrome for faucets and appliances.

Eclectic and Bohemian

Boho styles mix a lot of brass with other metals, including copper, chrome, and nickel. Create an eclectic look using many metals and different textures. Combine the warmth of brass with the rich tones of copper for a cohesive blend.

Use brass for cabinet hardware and light fixtures and copper for pots and decor. Wooden utensils and antique dishware fit in as well.

Inspiration Ideas for Mixing Metals in Your Kitchen Design

Combining different metallic elements adds a unique flair to the kitchen space.

  • White cabinets with black stainless steel kitchen appliances: To achieve a modern look, contrast your cabinets with bold black stainless steel. The combination is best for both contemporary and traditional kitchen designs.
  • Silver sink with black faucet: Installing a silver sink with a sleek black faucet creates a sense of contrast. The idea works best in an industrial, minimalist, or contemporary kitchen.
  • Brushed nickel appliances: Brushed nickel appliances create a more subtle style when mixing metal finishes. They have a soft, matte finish, adding warmth to a kitchen space. Consider pairing brushed nickel appliances with metal finishes like gold or brass faucets.
  • Gold hardware on white cabinets: Mixing these two evokes a sense of luxury and elegance. Gold accents add warmth and richness to the white cabinetry. Use gold cabinet pulls, hinges, and knobs to achieve this luxurious look.
  • White and brass appliances: Combining white and brass creates a more eclectic design. The blend makes the kitchen space bold and striking. Pair these appliances with brass elements, such as cabinet hardware or light fixtures.


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